This week we dig into the clever collar designs hidden on a handful of NHL sweaters.Read More
Today brought an embarrassment of riches with not one but both jersey announcements for the 2016 NHL Stadium Series game in Minnesota!
At least one other media outlet commented that the leak was less than 100% accurate, citing something about the proportions of the shoulder yoke.
Perhaps they weren't taking into account the difference between a small replica jersey laid out on a table and an authentic being worn by huge NHL players dressed in full gear.
For those still wondering, I'll point to the Twitter account of the buyer of one of the eBay jerseys.
Compare that tag to any official Reebok jersey you've ever bought. The jersey is genuine — it was simply released by someone before it was supposed to.
The only element not seen in the leak was the Stadium Series shoulder patch — though that is commonplace on Premier replica jerseys.
And we're not done yet!
The Wild's outdoor opponent in February will be the Chicago Blackhawks who also unveiled their Stadium Series jersey today.
If by this point you were beginning to feel this batch of stadium sweaters was rather predictable, the Hawks threw a couple of curveballs.
Check out the dual color collar and the sleeve numbers moved up to the shoulders — attempts perhaps to add a little creativity to an otherwise boring and overused Reebok template.
Boring may not the fairest description, though. With these designs, the league is looking for and getting increased visibility for atypical hockey sight lines.
I've been to a stadium game — the Heritage Classic in Vancouver — and can attest to the difficulty in actually watching the game with that kind of distance between you and the ice.
The enormous numbers and giant stripes don't look quite so big from the nosebleeds of a football stadium. In fact, they work pretty well.
I also have to say that I like the design aesthetic in play with these jerseys. It seems clear the league is listening to the fans who don't want futuristic jerseys — who often prefer to revel in retro.
It's a balancing act between where hockey sweaters came from and where we know they're headed. Each of these jerseys is modern with an homage to the past. It's a fair compromise and for the most part it's even well-executed.
All that said, I'm still glad these are one-time-only jerseys. I like experimentation. I also like knowing we can move past failed experiments.
Where do you stand? What do you think of this year's crop of Stadium Series jerseys now that they're all official?